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Poster: Jim F Date: Nov 9, 2010 12:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The coolest thing about Furthur!

"Oh no . The coolest thing about Furthur is the signing lady ?"


I don't know who they are currently using, but the woman that did signing on the big Dead tour last year is an old friend of mine, and I have some perspective on the how and why they do it and all that. She usually always signs when DSO comes to town (I tried pressing her for setlist information once or twice before the show, but she's sworn to secrecy), and she's worked with some other local outfits. I don't think she's doing the Furthur tour, though.

Some years back there was an article someone did about the "Deafheads" that I got from her, I think she was featured in it. Can't remember, it's been years. But it's really interesting how they fit into the whole scene. Over the years I've had the occasion to befriend a couple Deafheads, they would come out to a lot of the local GD tribute shows like DSO and such, as well as some of the local bar band GD tributes. They really enjoy feeling the music, I knew one guy who liked to sit on the edge of the stage and lean up on the monitors. Between the vibrations of the music and the people dancing, they seem to really have an understanding of the music that us hearing folks could probably never understand. It always fascinated me.

For a while both myself and a deafhead were fixtures at the weekly house gig for a local GD tribute, he would really enjoy himself but would often ask me what song they were doing a lot of the time. This same band would put on festivals where they hired my friend and some of her associates to do signing for them, that's how I met her, through that whole scene. It really seemed to help the hearing impaired appreciate the music more when they knew what song it was and what vocals were being sung. And from the signer's perspective, they really enjoy being able to "sign" the long improvisational segments, they're essentially getting paid to dance, gotta love that job.